Last night, Tuesday 15th October, we gathered round the Twitter Tasting table (okay, we were probably on sofas, at desks, on chairs etc.) for an insight into Lindores Abbey Distillery.
From the Lindores Abbey webpage:
THE SPIRITUAL HOME OF SCOTCH WHISKY
Distilling was taking place on this site at least as early as 1494, although it was most probably happening long before that.
We know this because of the earliest written reference to Scotch Whisky (or Aqua Vitae, as it was then known), which appears in the Exchequer Roll of the same year. It mentioned a Brother John Cor, a Lindores monk, who was commissioned by King James IV to turn 8 bolls of malt into Aqua Vitae.
8 Bolls of malt amounts to around 500kg in modern terms and would have been enough to make about 400 bottles of today’s whisky.
In 2017, spirit started flowing once again from copper stills at Lindores Abbey Distillery.
Learning as much as we can from the great Scottish distillers around us, past and present, and from others much further afield, we are looking forward to bringing a very modern whisky-making approach to this ancient site.
This evening we were to try three samples:
New Make – 73% ABV
Aqua Vitae – 40% ABV
Cask Blend – 60% ABV
First up was the new make, this really had me puzzled as the first time I nosed it I was greeted with the scent of milk! It really threw me… but off to the fridge I went and yes, it was similar (I’m not the biggest fan of milk!!) It was lightly fruity, also it was dough which is proving, and a scent of cream (or full fat milk.) The palate was caramel and chilies and dusty cocoa powder. A bitter taste, yet softly sweet.
Next we moved on to the Aqua Vitae. A slight hint of cloves (very slight) Jakemans cough sweets (the black ones) on the nose, and the palate was orange, and cloves, again it’s like sucking a cough sweet or one of those herbal lozenges (Ricola) a bit of black pepper… and it was rather warming as you swallow.
Again from Lindores Abbey web page, a poem on Aqua Vitae. Rather apt I think…
In the 13th century one Theoricus wrote a proper treatise in praise of the wonders of the spirit:
‘…it sloeth age, strengtheneth youth, it helpeth digestion, it cutteth fleume, it abandoneth melancholy, it relisheth the hart, it lighteneth the mynd, it quickeneth the spirites, it cureth the hydropsie, it healeth the strangury, it pounceth the stone, it expelleth gravell, it puffeth away all ventositie, it kepeth & preserveth the hed from whirlyng, the eyes from dazelyng, the tongue from lispyng, the mouth from mafflyng, the teeth from chatteryng, the throte from rattling, the weasan from stieflyng, the stomacke from wambling, the belly from wirtchyng, the guts from rumbling, the hands from shivering, the sinowe from shrinking, the veynes from crumpling, the bones from akyng, the marrow from soaking.’
Last sample of the night was the Cask Blend. It was very spirity on the nose. Behind that, caramel, toffee, malty notes. Vanilla and butter. The palate had a warming mouthfeel. Bitter and peppery. Slightly oily, yet slightly drying too. Dark sugar… bitter black tea.
This was a great introduction to Lindores Abbey Distillery… the New Make is intriguing. The Aqua Vitae was interesting too and the Cask Blend? Well it will be good to see how that continues to mature. Thanks for the opportunity to try these Lindores Abbey Distillery and thanks to them and Steve for last night.